The Link between Oral and Heart Health

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oral heart healthA lot has been said about the link between heart health and your teeth. Science on both sides of the isle (those who claim that teeth impact heart health and those that deny it) seems to support the position of those promulgating it. That should not surprise most readers. If a person has their mind set on a position, they can find a way to support it regardless of the popularity of it. This is true of all areas of science, but I won’t get into those arguments. Our primary concern is to establish whether or not there is a direct or indirect connection between oral health and heart health. 

Scientists with the American Heart Association back in 2012 reviewed available scientific evidence and concluded that poor oral health hasn’t been proven to cause heart disease. These experts painstakingly reviewed published research from all over the globe prior to making their determination. Taking the source of the proclamation we can most likely say that heart health is not directly related to oral health and this would be the shortest article ever written on the subject. 

Further research into the matter shows that researchers have produced studies wherein gum disease has been proven or rather associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease. They’ve shown that poor dental health increases the risk of bacterial infection in the blood stream, which can affect the valves in the heart. This is particularly relevant to those with artificial heart valves. 

Further studies have shown that patterns of tooth loss are connected to coronary artery disease. In March of 2012 researchers published findings that a type of bacteria from the mouth can cause blood clots and lead to serious heart problems if it enters the bloodstream. The bacteria mimic a human protein called fibrinogen which is a blood-clotting factor. The platelets in the blood surround the bacteria thus protecting it from elimination from the human immune system thus delivering it to the heart, or brain. 

The bacteria associated with periodontal disease if permitted to enter the bloodstream can cause a hardening of the arteries known as atherosclerosis which can lead to blood flow problems and heart blockages. I can site several more studies wherein a correlation has been established between heart health and oral health, but I believe that I’ve established enough of a basis to support my opening hypothesis, you can find support for any stance you take scientifically. 

What should be your takeaway from this treatise on oral health? Basically this, people who have bad teeth or who have had serious dental issues wherein their teeth are in a constant state of decay have to pay close attention to their heart and should see their doctor regularly to have their hearts checked to ensure that they are healthy, and should especially see their medical providers at the first sign of problems. Don’t take risks with your heart, it is easier to replace teeth than it is your heart.

Dental implants should be seriously considered when facing persistent dental issues that are causing tooth decay and failure. Dream Dental Implant Center focuses 100% of their efforts to providing dental implants and not only giving people a reason to smile again, but a shot at a better, more healthy life. 

Schedule a time to meet with Dream Dental by requesting a consultation here. The staff will help you understand your options to a better life. 

The History of Implants

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dental implant historyWhat is the history of implants? This is a question that we tend to hear every once in a while. The fact that you are here on means that you probably have a rudimentary idea of what implants are. You might even be an expert doing some intense research trying to find the best place to trust with your smile. Whether you are the novice trying to figure the whole dental implant scene out or the seasoned consumer who has been tracking down the right place, you are in the right place right now. 

The first known placement of a dental implant dates back to about 600 AD, when a tooth like piece of a shell was hammered into the jaw of a Mayan woman. That’s right 600 AD. Dentistry as a practice dates back 7000 BC, so by 600 AD ancient dentists were feeling pretty confident in their trade. These Mayan dental professionals were skilled in their placement of these implants; and modern-day scans of Mayan mandibles show that these ancient practitioners knew what they were doing, and they acted and performed similar to what modern-day practitioners would call a blade implant. A couple of centuries later in what is now known as Honduras, they were placing carved stone implants. 

In Europe between the 1500’s to the 1800’s teeth were “harvested” from the poor population or the dead and transplanted into the mouth of the higher class (I guess that they figured if you were poor or dead that you didn’t need them anyway).  

Flash forward to the early 1900’s and Dr’s were doing a lot of research and testing with implants. From the use of gold to Vitallium to differentiation of design to cause a better bond and hold these doctors were pioneering a whole new industry. Real progress occurred when Dr. Formiggini (known as the father of modern implantology) and Dr. Zepponi invented a new type of implant that allowed bone to grow into the implant in the 1940’s. 

Now we arrive in the early 1950’s and dental implants started becoming a real thing. In 1952 a Swedish Orthopedic surgeon by the name of Dr. P. Brånemark discovered that titanium would natural fuse with bone and turned his focus to the mouth. The time period of the 1940’s through the 1950’s was an explosive period for implantology. New methods and research were coming out at a relatively rapid pace. It was literally the golden age of dental implant technology and methodology.  

The 1960’s through the 1970’s was an innovative hailstorm for plants. Borrowing from the rise in research and innovation of the previous decade, doctors were feverishly expanding on what was known and seeking for more innovative ways and permanent ways of making implants viable. 

In 1978 Dr. P. Brånemark discovery from 1952 really gained notice when his discovery of titanium’s tendency to fuse with bone proved to be a long-term solution as his first patient’s implant lasted 40 years. Doctors ran with this breakthrough over the next decade and modern dental implant techniques and instruments were developed. 

Since that time implants have gained in popularity and have become more commonplace, to where we have over 3,000,000 people in the United States who have been fitted with dental implants and that number grows at a rate of about 500,000 per year. People from all walks of life and circumstances are driven to find peace in their smiles. Those who have experienced this life changing procedure are truly happy to be able to have a smile that they can be proud of. Hopefully you can appreciate the history of implants. A lot has transpired in the span of a few thousand years. Technology has advanced and techniques have improved, but one thing that will never change, and that is the joy it gives people to be able to  smile and eat the foods that they love.

Dental Tourism in Mexico

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Dental Tourism is a relatively new phrase coined to identify the rise in individuals leaving their own community to travel elsewhere to receive dental services. This industry has grown a lot in Mexico as US citizens have flocked to Mexico seeking dental help.  The US vs. US dentist vs Mexico dentistMexico sounds like a rematch of a soccer (fútbol) game from a couple of years ago. But today we are talking about something more than a competition of athleticism on an open field between two team vying to be victorious and prove who’s the best. No, we are talking about dentistry, that age old profession that has evolved from the rudimentary procedures of 7000 BC to the more complex procedures of providing implants of today; and with this discussion of dentistry we are going to evaluate the dental services of the United States of America to its neighbor to the south, Mexico. Is there really a difference or is the service you get there the same as here, just cheaper?

Well, first things first; Why would anybody choose to go to Mexico to receive dental services? The answer is quite simple, cost. The cost of dentistry in Mexico is dramatically different compared to costs in the United States. We are talking 66% in most cases if not more. A procedure that you might pay $1400 for here will cost you about $265 there. I bet you are now thinking to yourself that that should be a no-brainer, why wouldn’t everyone go to Mexico for dental work? While cost is a deciding factor for many people, there are other things to take into consideration as well.

The US State Department recently upgraded its travel advisory status for Mexico identifying five Mexican states as “Do not travel to”, due to crime. The rest of the states in Mexico are either lower levels of “do not travel”, “exercise extreme caution” or “reconsider travel”. Border states are on the “do not travel” list therefore you would have to go deeper into Mexico to find a state that is at least “reconsider travel” or “exercise extreme caution”, this means you either drive through the heart of crime country or you fly over it. Guess what if you choose the later, you just wiped out your savings in going to Mexico. So while deciding cost you need to look at the all the costs, not just the cost of dental services, but travel and accommodations if that should be needed.

The next thing that you must consider is the training of the dentist providing the dental services. You know that they went through their 4 years of school and then the one year of civil service and then started practicing dentistry. In most cases they are very proficient at the basic services like cleanings, and other general dental care. When you start getting more advanced, although they provide one stop shops, you can’t always expect them to be proficient. For example, let’s look at implants, since Dream Dental specializes in implants. A dentist in Mexico might see one or two implant cases during their training, and then never see one again until you show up saying that you need an implant. Are you willing to trust someone without experience to do something as important as provide you with an implant? Then since their services are provided at a cost-effective price point, they are known to rush procedures causing complications and failure. If you return home and experience the failure, what will you do then? You would have to deal with the issue until you are able to make it back down to hopefully get it fixed, or to have them tell you that they can’t help you. That is unacceptable in my book.

In closing, although a very viable part of the tourism industry, dental tourism isn’t always what it appears to be on the surface. There are some things more important than cost, like personal safety and quality. I could go on for a while longer on some other reasons why you should not choose Mexico as your destination choice for dental services, but I think that I’ve proven my point with just these two. Always keep in mind that when deciding on where to get your dental implants, consider the experience of the team providing them for you and the care that you will receive. When you do that we hope to see you here at the Dream Dental Implant Center.

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